News

New president to lead university through major upgrade

BETH BORGEN

Lakeland University has promoted Executive Vice President Beth Borgen, D.B.A., to be the institution’s 18th president.

Borgen becomes the first female to lead the institution in its 158-year history. Her selection was made by Lakeland’s Board of Trustees following a national search.

In her 15 years at Lakeland, Borgen has quickly been promoted to more responsible positions. A first-generation college graduate who earned her master of business administration from Lakeland in 2011, she has led dramatic growth in Lakeland’s fundraising efforts, as well as implementation of the university’s award-winning Cooperative Education program.

“Lakeland has a long history of serving first-generation college students and working adults seeking their degree. I am a proud Lakeland graduate who understands the challenges of both of those populations.

Jeff Spence, the chair of the Presidential Search Committee and the newly elected chair of the Board of Trustees, said, “Beth as our president puts us in a great position to continue our accelerated journey to Lakeland’s future of serving our communities through our co-op program, the Kellett School, Lakeland University-Japan and our other innovative programs.”

Borgen was named executive vice president in July of 2018, a role that has seen her lead teams that manage Lakeland’s enrollment, Cooperative Education program, financial aid, fundraising and external relations/marketing efforts.

She led Lakeland through the creation of its current strategic plan, which prepares to position the institution for declines in student populations by the middle of this decade that will challenge all institutions of higher learning.

She recently led a task force of key stakeholders to fully implement Lakeland’s co-op program, which for the last three falls has generated three of the largest incoming freshman classes in Lakeland’s history.

Borgen will begin her tenure as president in spring 2021 as Lakeland begins a $26 million investment in its main campus, funded by a $35.4 million low-interest loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development division.

Lakeland will construct two new residence halls to serve freshman and sophomores, a water tower and related infrastructure, and use $9.4 million to refinance the university’s existing long-term debt.

Borgen and her husband, Jim, a captain with the Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s Department, and their three children, Stella (11), Sydney (10) and Oliver (8), live in Fond du Lac. They plan to move to the president’s house located on the Main Campus.

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